A bakery in regional Victoria has been crowned home to Australia’s best vanilla slice after a heated competition.
North End Bakehouse in Shepparton won first place at The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph in Merbein, near Mildura, last weekend.
“We did it!” the bakery shared on Facebook on Saturday, alongside a photo of its mouth-watering vanilla slice.
“We now hold the title for 2023 Australia’s Best Vanilla Slice and (are the) winners of The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph!!
“A massive congrats to all other winners today, and the place getters in our class.”
The competition’s judging and bakeries co-ordinator Anne Nash said baker Matt Aylett had worked “very, very hard” on perfecting his incredible slice.
“(He can) define the difference between the pastry (and) the custard, making sure the custard is a vanilla custard, not a cream custard,” she told Channel 7.
“Sometimes the slices will come in, and the icing is weeping.
“All the things that the judges will be looking for, whether the vanilla slice can stand alone in a square and not actually move, that’s the perfect vanilla slice.”
A “really strong, crunch pastry” was also crucial, Ms Nash said.
Mr Aylett credited the perfection of his creamy, decadent vanilla slice to 17 years of practice.
“We make sure the custard’s perfect, pastry’s crispy, icing’s shiny, everything,” he said of crafting the ultimate slice.
It has been an impressive year for Mr Aylett, who in March also took out first place in the vanilla slice division at the Baking Association of Australia’s Victorian Baking Show.
Sharps Bakery in Birchip, Victoria took out second place at Saturday’s awards, while third went to Banana Boogie Bakery in Belair, Adelaide.
North End Bakehouse’s vanilla slice win comes after another Victorian bakery, Country Cobb, was recognised as the home of Australia’s best meat pie.
The bakery, run by migrant Cambodian brothers Chan and Ryan Khun, took out the top spot at the Baking Association of Australia’s (BAA) Best Pie and Pastie Competition in June with their Cambodian-inspired fish amok pie.
Their unconventional fish curry pie, which also took out first place in the seafood pie category, is cooked with fresh Australian barramundi and is a nod to one of Cambodia’s national dishes.